The Scandal Point, Shimla
Scandal point is where the Mall road joins Ridge road on the west side. The most prominent feature of the point today is a statue of the Indian freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai (no relation to the scandal) . Next to it is the General Post Office, Shimla. There is a very interesting story of The Scandal Point that tells us about how it got its name.
The story begins with the Raja of Patiala, Bhupender Singh who was very charming and had many wives. Around 1891, when he was in Shimla, he fell in love with a daughter of the British Viceroy (Lord Kitchener). Therefore, he eloped (ran away secretly to get married) with the Viceroy’s daughter. This had led to the Maharaja being banished from entering Shimla by the British authorities. He countered the move by setting himself a new summer capital – now famous hill resort of Chail, 45 km from Shimla. This act of Maharaja was considered to be a scandal (a morally wrong act).
Now there are two believes about the Scandal Point, one states that The Maharaja and The Viceroy’s Daughter fell in love with each other at the Scandal Point. Whereas, according to other The Maharaja eloped or kidnapped the Viceroy’s Daughter from Scandal Point.
The real story has lost its significance over time because there are no evidences. However, a part of the story is true. Maharaja Bhupender, the central character of story had many wives which outcast his character as a womanizer. Some more evidences also proves that for some reason the Maharaja was banished from entering Shimla by the Britisher’s. In an act of defiance the Maharaja relocated his summer capital to the small town of Chail in 1891.
The controversy arose by the records according to which Maharaja Bhupernder was a child at that time. Bhupinder Singh’s father, Rajindra Singh, had an English wife. The place at Chail also has the inscriptions of RS indicating Rajindra Singh had the building constructed. This may also be an origin of the story being told by the local guides.
Let us know about your opinion on the Story of the Scandal Point, in the comment section below.